Tsonga, Tested By Mahut

Moselle Open, France

[CR17] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs. [CR67] Nicolas Mahut (FRA)

Tsonga was pushed by fellow countryman and good friend, Mahut.  He expected the battle though as two of their three previous matches had gone the distance.  Mahut won the first set on both occasions; however, like today, he was unable to get a second set for the victory.  Mahut is well-known for his doubles prowess, winning ten doubles titles in his career; while Tsonga has done more damage on the singles tour.  Yet, despite their apparent differences, Mahut has the game that can challenge anyone on the singles tour on any given day.  Today he came up just a tad short again losing a tough three setter 7-6(6), 3-6, 5-7.

Next up for Tsonga is Philipp Kohlschreiber.  On paper, it should be an easy victory for Tsonga, who has lost only once to Kohlschreiber.  However, Tsonga has had two tough three set matches, while Kohlschreiber had an easy day today with a walk-over victory when Stan Wawrinka withdrew.  Also, history has shown us repeatedly, that matches are not played on paper. Yet, Tsonga loves this tournament, so expect him to be ready for his semifinal match. He’s been a finalist here three times and won it twice.  Can he make it to his fourth final with a chance to win it for the third time tomorrow?  Or does Kohlschreiber finally make the breakthrough and get his second victory over Tsonga in the semifinals? His only victory over Tsonga was in 2009, on clay.  He hopes to change the statistics tomorrow; however, he will have to battle the crowd as well as Tsonga.  Is Kohlschreiber up to the challenge?

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